Category Archives: Estonia

Estonia

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Leaving Tallinn we headed east following one of the local cycle routes not sure what to expect. We discovered that Estonia is brilliant for cycling. It has well signed routes which follow quiet roads through beautiful countryside. There is an excellent network of cycle routes shown on a map available from cycle shops.  It is also mainly flat and  campsites are excellent value.

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An Elk which crossed the road behind us.

An Elk which crossed the road behind us.

Our  plan was to follow Eurovelo 11 an international cycle route that heads south through Estonia on to Latvia and Lithuania. The route took us along the pretty northern coast by empty sandy beaches along to one of the many National Parks, Park Lahamaa. We passed huge flocks of ravens on the way. The park is home to beavers, elk, bears and even wolves. Similar to Finland there are campsites with drop loos and a tap where you can camp for free.  The roads were very quiet, the few drivers considerate giving us a wide berth.

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Estonia has been a free country since 1991 but there are still remnants of communist rule. Vast tenement blocks crumbling seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Other parts are far more affluent with modern summer houses and tidy villages.

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We hit the 3000km mark of our route by the side of Lake Peipus the third largest lake in Europe and mainly populated by Russians. On the other side of the lake was Russia. It had a different feel to the rest of Estonia, the lake seems more like a sea as it is vast. It was lined by small wooden houses mainly single story and most had seen better days.

We came across thousands of Jackdaws in Tartu the largest city in Estonia coming home to roost.

 

 

Wonderful, wonderful Tallinn!

 

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Tallinn is the most beautiful city we have seen so far. We arrived on the short ferry ride from Helsinki to a view of the spires, towers and cupolas of the old town. We wandered into the old town in the evening , small cobbled streets filled with medieval buildings . It was hard to imagine how these had survived communism, but in the last 20 yrs of Independence most had been restored, many with plaques detailing their history from the 13th century onwards.

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